How to Remove Puffy Paint

    by Richard Kalinowski

    About the Author

    Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.


    Puffy paint is a nontoxic paint designed for child and adult craft projects. It is specifically designed to adhere to fabric for custom T-shirt creation, but because of its thick texture, it can also be used for other crafts. Unfortunately, while puffy paint is great for creative projects, it is a hassle to clean up because it is designed to adhere to surfaces when dry. Luckily, the cleanup can be simplified if you use the right products and follow the right removal steps.

    Things You'll Need

    • Water
    • Rag
    • Rubber gloves
    • Protective eye-wear
    • Mineral spirits
    • Washing machine
    • Laundry detergent
    • Soap

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    Dab the paint with a damp rag if it is still wet. Puffy paint can be removed with water as long as it has not set into the surface. If the paint has dried, you’ll need to use more intensive removal methods.

    Put on protective rubber gloves and eye-wear, open windows for ventilation and pour some mineral spirits onto a rag.

    Dab the paint with the rag. Avoid wiping it, as this causes streaking.

    Pour clean water over the painted surface to remove excess mineral spirits and paint.

    Apply additional mineral spirits to the rag and continue blotting the area if all the paint has not been removed with the first cleaning. Continue until the surface is clean and clear when washed with water.

    Clean the item thoroughly as soon as the paint is fully removed. Rinse off as much of the mineral spirits as possible, then wash the clothing in a washing machine with regular laundry detergent. After removing puffy paint from non-clothing items, scrub the surface clean with soap, water and a rag.

    • According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, mineral spirits give off harmful vapors. Always work with mineral spirits in a well-ventilated area.
    • Though less common and less serious, skin irritation can also occur from mineral spirit exposure if protective rubber gloves are not worn.
    • If you get mineral spirits in your eyes, flush them with water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical attention.